Welcome to the third installment of the Supernatural Season 9 “Threads” series! For anyone just joining us, this series is dedicated to detecting the clues and innuendoes, subtext and foreshadowing that are present in each week’s Supernatural episodes in an attempt to form and test theories about the direction of the season’s plots and myth arc. The prior articles took us through 9.03 “I’m No Angel”. This installment summarizes my theories plus readers’ agreements, challenges and insights on those first three episodes. It continues then with the new clues found in episodes four through eight, and theorizes how these new hints affect the season’s “threads”. Episode 9, the mid-season finale, is going to give us a lot to talk about, so let’s get our thoughts in order before we are left hanging during the winter hiatus!
Who is Ezekiel?
1. No one has yet confirmed Ezekiel is who he says he is, leaving us to wonder if he is being honest with his identity. Our discussions have concluded that Ezekiel is indeed an angel (sigil reactions, white light possession, etc.), but no one has yet confirmed his name or role in Heaven. Crowley hasn’t recognized Ezekiel, but there are many possible reasons for this lapse of confirmation, ranging from Crowley’s own humanity becoming stronger, to the fact that Zeke is always the lesser consciousness inside Sam whenever Crowley is present. There is still the nagging first encounter between Zeke and the angel who attacked Dean (9.01 “I Think I’m Gonna Like It Here”). At that time, Zeke was in control of his vessel, yet the aggressive angel “hadn’t met” him before. We know for sure that angels can be recognized when they are in control of a vessel (e.g. Cas recognized Ephraim in 9.06 “Heaven Can’t Wait”. Ephraim was even impressed, complimenting Cas with “You remembered my name”), so either these two angels truly hadn’t met before (possible, yet Cas has always recognized other angels) or there is some other unknown explanation (e.g. Zeke is more clandestine than he claimed).
2. We have concluded that Ezekiel is not Metatron, Lucifer or God. Good arguments were explored for all these possibilities, but the general consensus was that these were all unlikely.
3. Is Ezekiel “blending” with Sam? There were two quotes from 9.02 “Devil May Care” that seemed to be going down this road. Zeke said something that could have had multiple interpretations, then Dean was disturbed when Sam said he was “happy with his life for the first time in …forever””. Was Dean worried that Zeke’s presence was artificially elevating Sam’s mood and that Sam’s individuality is threatened, or was Dean feeling guilty because he knew Sam wouldn’t be happy if he knew the truth? In 9.05 “Dog Dean Afternoon”, Dean reflected “He was possessed by something he couldn’t control. It was just a matter of time before it completely took over”. Obviously Dean knows that he is taking a huge calculated risk with Sam’s life. I think this reflection was meant to intensify Dean’s (and our) trepidation over the possession, but does it specifically foreshadow that Zeke is slowly gaining more control over Sam or rather that he will refuse to leave Sam when the time comes? As Zeke gets more powerful I see a risk that there might be a battle for the vessel, but I don’t personally believe that Sam will lose his identity. There haven’t been any more clues leading in this direction, yet there have been several references to the “ejection” threat. Do you agree?
4. We theorized that Ezekiel is much more powerful than the “soldier” known to Castiel. This is still a possibility, but it is getting less likely each week. Yes, Ezekiel retained his wings (they were damaged but still attached) but there are several feasible explanations for this (he may have already been on Earth or they were damaged in a battle, for example). New evidence, such as Zeke being weakened when he used his powers to resurrect Cas (9.03 “I’m No Angel”) and Charlie (9.04 “Slumber Party”)seems to indicate that he does not have the advanced powers of say an archangel or other high order angel. I am not ready to give up completely on this idea, but there hasn’t been corroborating evidence in the past five episodes. Do you agree? It is probably worthwhile to note that Zeke said he was “barely back to half strength” before he healed Charlie. This gives us a baseline of his progress.
5. While perhaps not more powerful, I still believe that Zeke is far more important than the average angel. After 9.03, I observed that Zeke thought and spoke strategically, more like a general than a soldier. Recognizing that Sam would be a strong, safe, strategically placed vessel took advanced, pre-emptive thinking. Zeke’s references to Bartholomew, Zeke’s use of tactical language and his panic at being found before he heals all point to a combat leader. The average angel wouldn’t care so much about being located by Bartholomew. The full theory that Zeke is a key player in the fight against Bartholomew, and maybe even Metatron, is stated in the 9.03 “Threads” article, and many of you agreed with me. It is possible that Zeke was already an emerging leader in Heaven or was fighting the power-hungry heavenly forces (e.g. Bartholomew) when the angels were cast out of Heaven. Maybe keeping his location/identity a secret is important because he knows he has enemies. His identity seems to be the key, though, to the question, “What are his intentions?”
What are Ezekiel’s intentions?
1. I might go down with the ship, but I still believe that Zeke has good intentions. I still believe he is “one of the good guys” as he stated earlier. He gave his word that he would try to heal Sam and I believe he is trying his best to do so. In 9.08 “Rock and a Hard Place”, the goddess Vesta revealed to Sam that “Your liver is no good. You are all duct tape and safety pins inside”. While this sounds damming, duct tape and safety pins are tools used to fix something. To me, the reference implies that repairs are being made, a little at a time, some here, some there, but there is still progress. She did not say Sam was a burned out shell, which was Sam’s condition when Zeke possessed him. In 9.06, the TV said it had been “weeks” since the freak meteor storm (the angels falling) so that gives us a time frame. Honestly, the severity of Sam’s injuries implied it would take a lot of time and work to repair, so I am not surprised that he is not whole yet.
2. After 9.03, several of you theorized that Zeke’s motivation is primarily to get Dean as an ally. In his prayer to the angels, Dean did say that he would owe the angel that helped him. We know Dean’s actions are fairly legendary in Heaven (thwarting the Apocalypse), so maybe Zeke came to gain Dean’s “friendship” or loyalty. Zeke does seem to be going out of his way to please Dean. In 9.04, Zeke gave Dean a choice: Have Zeke help defeat the witch or heal Charlie. When Dean chose, Zeke’s response was “As you wish”. Very cooperative and accommodating wouldn’t you say? While offering a choice to Dean gives Dean a sense of control (albeit a false sense of control), I also see Zeke’s willingness to help as a genuine gesture to fight in the battle against evil, and further evidence of his good nature. It could have been solely a calculated move since Dean would be a powerful friend, but Zeke’s concern seemed sincere. Given the past five episodes, what do you think of this theory now?
3. Consistent with the theory that Zeke is an important principal in the fight for Heaven, I further believe that his mission will always be his first priority. He has a good heart, so he would like to be able to save Sam, but Zeke’s hidden agenda (to defeat Bartholomew and/or restore the natural order of Heaven?) will always be paramount to other good deeds. Eilf drew the parallel that this would again be “an angel using Sam as a pawn in the fight to win a battle”. Would it go that far? I don’t think Zeke initially intended to involve Sam in the fight. Instead he hoped that both he and Sam could be at full strength before the confrontation with Bartholomew. In 9.04, Zeke said, “I cannot keep doing that [resurrecting people]. I am barely back to half strength. Every time I use my power, it weakens me, which means I will have to stay in your brother longer than you want…longer than we both want”. The evidence seems to be pointing to Zeke being anxious to get to full strength quickly, rather than prolonging the recovery in order to hide himself (and thus be safe) longer. I believe he would involve Sam if he needed to, but I don’t think that was his initial intention. In 9.08, Dean asked Zeke how much longer they would have to keep their secret from Sam. Zeke replied “Not much longer, I promise you that.” Knowing the anguish that we are doomed to bear, however, I’m sure that is the dilemma that will be placed before the brothers!
Sam and Dean
1. Sam is getting smarter about Zeke. How long before Sam figures this out?
- 9.04 Sam: “Who’s Zeke? Before I got zapped, I thought you said the name Zeke. Who is that?”
- 9.05 Sam: “Why did he want to know what I was?
2. In 9.07 “Bad Boys”, there was a strong parallel between Timmy’s circumstances and Dean’s and Sam’s lives. The boy was saved from a fire when a member of his family pushed him out of the thing that was burning yet his mother died trying to save him. The mother then came back as a ghost to protect her son. Obviously, Timmy represents Sam. So Dean’s advice to Timmy is ominous: “You gotta let [the one you love] go. You’ll be OK. Sometimes you got to do what’s best for you even if it’s gonna hurt the ones you love”. This was the same advice Sonny had given to Dean as a teenager. Does this mean, though, that Dean finally understood and felt better about doing something for himself even if it endangered Sam (being selfish enough to not let Sam die); or does it foreshadow that Sam will have to do something that is best for him (die?) even if it hurts Dean? The clue was obvious – its interpretation is not.
3. In 9.06, why did Crowley want Kevin’s blood instead of Sam’s? Why did Crowley inject a second syringe of Kevin’s blood? Sam’s blood would have been sufficient if Crowley just wanted to get another taste of being human, so there is some other motivation. Does Kevin’s prophet blood have some kind of power?
4. Do you believe Crowley that the Angel Banishing spell is irreversible (9.06)? I don’t. So what did he read in that tablet that he didn’t want to share with Sam and Kevin?
5. What was Abaddon doing at Castle Storage (9.06)?
6. Jimmy Novak’s plight? We talked about what happened to Jimmy when Cas became human, but the predominant opinion is that Jimmy had already died long before the angels fell. We can’t yet be sure if there is any precedent here for either Cas or Sam.
7. Cas theorized to April that he was needed alive to reverse the banishing spell (9.03). In our discussion of this, Percysowner speculated further that Cas getting his grace back might undo the spell. If that is true, Crowley would certainly want to hide that fact from Kevin and Sam. What do you think?
So that is the current status of all of the threads I have detected through episode 8. Have I missed any? Have you found evidence either for or against any of these ideas? Let’s Discuss!
Screencap from www.homeofthenutty.com